BY GEORGE MBAH JNR
As the ruling People’s Democratic Party, (PDP) prepares to conduct her state congress in Abia State , the coast seems clear for the emergence of former speaker of the Abia State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Asiforo Alwell Okere to emerge as State chairman.
This is sequel to his unanimous adoption by the former Senate President, His Exccelencey, Senator Adolphus Wabara and all major stakeholders from Ukwa East Local Government Area of the state.
The ruling PDP in the state had scheduled next month April 11 for the conduct of the state congress to produce the next state chairman of the party in the state.
Members of the PDP state caucus made up of the elected leaders of the party and major stakeholders led by the Abia State Governor, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu” had resolved to cede the state chairmanship position of the party to Abia South Senatorial District of the State”
This followed the “unanimous adoption of the resolution of the congress committee led by Arc. Benson Ezem which was empowered by the leader of the party to come up with a fair and equitable formula for executing the forthcoming congresses of the party in the state.
The committee specifically recommended that the next state chairman of the party should emerge from Ukwa area of the Abia South senatorial District made up of Ukwa East and Ukwa West local government areas of the state.
This decision adjudged by many stakeholders of the party in the state as fair restricted therefore chairmanship slot to the Ndokis and Asas that constitute the Ukwa people.
Since the position of the PDP was made public last month, many contenders have indicated interest to occupy the plum party job in the state.
From the Ukwa East Local Government Area of the state are two contenders, Rt Honorable Asiforo Alwell Okere and Rt. Hon. Emeka Stanley while from Ukwa West Local Government Area of the state are, Hon. Chinedum Elechi, felix Ebere, and Goodluck Nwaobiwe.
Political analysts are however, of the opinion that the position of the state chairmanship of the party favours Ukwa East against their brothers in Ukwa West.
They are of the view that Ukwa West which produces oil that made Abia, an oil producing state parades many of the plum jobs in the state including, chairman of the Abia State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission (ASOPADEC), Commissioner in the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) and currently occupies the position of the deputy chief of staff in the State Government House.
Their Ukwa East brothers only have the position of the member representing Ukwa East and Ukwa West Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives in the person of Hon. Uzoma Abonta, a position expected to be ceded to Ukwa West also come 2023 after the incumbent occupant of the position must have completed his fourth tenure.
Political analysts in the state view it that by 2023, Ukwa East will be left unfair politically and the only way to carry the people along is to equitably console them with the position of the state chairmanship.
This, many PDP stalwarts in the state believe is fair enough.
Based on this permutation, the people of Ukwa East PDP stakeholders under the leadership of former Senate President, Senator Adolph Wabara in their wisdom calculatively decided to adopt a rancor free option that will present one candidate to the party at the state level.
The leader of the PDP in the council Senator Adolphus Wabara and members of his 25 member stakeholders decided to conduct an election between the two contenders from the Local Government Area, Rt Hon. Asiforo Allwel Okere and Rt. Hon. Emeka Stanley.
These Ukwa East PDP leaders and stakeholders seen by political observers of the state as refined and pragmatic in nature also sold the same idea to their Ukwa West brothers so that at the end of the day, Ukwa people in general will adopt and present a single candidate at the state level.
But their Ukwa West brothers couldn’t put their house in order as they were factionalized and instead presented three contestants for the party to choose from, should the slot fall to ukwa west.
Unlike the people of Ukwa West, PDP leaders in Ukwa East are highly coordinated, calculative and decided to go into the contest in block with a preferred candidate.
So last week, PDP leaders and stakeholders met at the Destiny Home of their leader Senator Adolphus Wabara and conducted election between Hons Okere and Stanley.
Out of the twenty- five (25) members of the stakeholders of the council, twenty-three (23) were present at the meeting and participated in the voting process as the two contenders were sent out leaving twenty-one (21) of them to vote.
At the end of the voting, twenty (20) of the stakeholders overwhelmingly voted for Rt. Hon, Asiforo Okere while his opponent Hon. Emeka Stanley scored a vote.
It was a generally accepted decision amongst majority of the PDP members across the two Local Government Area of Ukwa aside the stakeholders.
Among those who were present at the Ukwa East stakeholders meeting include, former Senate president, Senator Adolphus Wabara, Hon. Uzoma Abonta, representing Ukwa Federal Constituency in the National Assembly, Hon. Paul Taribo, Ukwa East House of Assembly, Hon. Solomon Ogunji, commissioner for Environment in the state and Chief Okechi Nwohu, PDP council chairman.
Others are Hon. Emeka Stanley, Hon. Asiforo Okere, Hon. Stella Igbokwe, chairman Ukwa East L.G.A, Dr. Mrs. Chinedu Brown, Hon. Ossy Nwamuo, Chief Uche Ajah, Chief Okere Eruba, Super High Chief Israel Ahunanya, Hon. Lewis Obianyi, chief G.I Akara, Hon. Emily Habert, Hon. Ejike Okere, Barr. Israel Bethel, Chief Ibe Ukatta, Hon. Adiele Ekeke, Hon. Reginald Ezenta, Chief Ferguson Okoro and chief Ugochukwu Wajini.
The choice of Rt. Hon. Allwel Asiforo Okere by these party leaders have been applauded by many PDP faithful across the state who also condemned the reported reaction of his opponent.
Hon. Emeka Stanley who was obviously disappointed by the outcome of the stakeholders election.
It was gathered that immediately the out come of the stakeholders election was announced, the loser Hon. Emeka Stanley allegedly publicly pointed at each of the stakeholders many of who are his seniors, calling them fools, betrayers and unprintable names.
Rt. Hon. Emeka Stanley is said to have resorted to writing frivolous, unfounded and irrelevant falsehoods in the name of petitions against Rt. Hon. Asiforo Okere and leaders of the party in the council.
One of the stakeholders at the meeting who spoke under anonymity condemned the actions of Hon. Stanley after the election saying “that his actions portrayed him as a man incapable of leading a great party like PDP, he doesn’t have the character and temperament to lead people.
“Just look at a man that wants to lead a great party like PDP, just that he lost stakeholders election and he is raining abuses on even his elders, he is not in any way qualified to lead and can never be chairman of the party in the state.”
Rt. Hon. Emeka Stanley was allegedly said to have thrown morality to the wind after the embarrassment of the defeat that his action has earned him a suspension from Ukwa East PDP stakeholders.
But the choice of Ukwa East stakeholders Rt. Hon.Asiforo Okere is viewed by political analysts as a round peg in a round hole.
A reliable party man who has never disappointed but has delivered wholly to his party in all elections.
He was speaker, Abia State House of Assembly, Deputy Speaker of the same Hallowed chambers, former commissioner for Energy and solid minerals, special adviser to the governor on Local Government and chieftaincy affairs and spent three consecutive terms in the state House of Assembly.
Academically sound, he has two Masters Degrees in Business Administration and Economics from the University of science and technology Port-Harcourt and a PH.D, Economics from Abia Stae University Uturu.
Rt. Hon.Asiforo Okere is said to be a man of impeccable character and integrity, reliable and dependable personality with innate capacity and astute and grounded with the ability to manage human beings and resolve crisis.
A consummate politician, devout Christian, gentleman par excellence and a team player whose intellect has been proven in all positions he held in the state.
He, having being backed by his people with positive political pedigree stands tall above other contenders and possesses the requisite capacity expected of the chairmanship of the ruling PDP to lead the party into prosperous, victorious and fruitful years ahead.